After last week’s defeat to BATE, Arsenal will have a 1-0 deficit to overturn if they wish to progress to the next round of this competition.
Arsenal v BATE Borisov
Thursday 21st February, 17:55
Confidence will be low for Arsenal after losing away from home 1-0 against BATE Borisov last week. The London side was bettered by it’s Belarusian counterpart, although the home side earned 71% possession in the game and picked up four shots on goal to BATE’s three. Despite going into this match behind on aggregate, Arsenal will hold a strong belief that they can progress to the next round. Taking their home form in the Premier League into consideration, the Gunners are unbeaten in six Premier League games. In addition to their unbeaten home run in the league, they are unbeaten in the Europa League at the Emirates.
In the past six home Premier League games Arsenal have scored sixteen goals in the last six matches which averages 2.67 goals per game. In the three games played at home, Arsenal have scored five goals which gives them an average of 1.67 goals per game. Arsenal have only failed to score in five of their thirty-eight matches in all competitions this season. In the Premier League, Arsenal have conceded less than a goal per home game this season, they have played thirteen home matches in the league and only conceded eleven.
In Arsenal’s last three Europa League group games, there is a trend which indicates when Arsenal’s goals are likely to occur in the match. In the last three games of the group stage, Arsenal have scored all of their goals in the first half. This pattern was evident in Arsenal’s last match with BATE as the North London side were able to amass more attempts on goal in the first half than in the second. It is unclear if Unai Emery has meant for this to be Arsenal’s approach to matches, but the same trend has been present in Arsenal’s last five league matches. Arsenal have scored seven in the last five matches, with five of these goals being scored in the first half.
The Belarusian side wouldn’t have believed before the game last week that they would be going into the second leg in the driving seat after a 1-0 win over Arsenal. BATE Borisov would have expected to struggle in that match as they only had a single friendly to get up to match fitness as the Belarusian Premier League finished in December. BATE may still be wary that a lack of match fitness may affect them as they have played no friendlies since last week’s Europa League match.
BATE have had previous experience of playing in London this season, since they drew Chelsea in their Europa League group. They lost 3-1 to the Blues at Stamford Bridge, after a Ruben Loftus-Cheek hattrick. Apart from this defeat to Chelsea, BATE have performed well in European competitions this season as they have won four matches as lost only twice. Four games out of six have ended with over 2.5 goals being scored.
This high record of goals has been apparent in BATE’s away games in all competitions, as five out of six matches have ended with 2.5 goals being scored. The Belarusian side have scored thirteen goals in their last six away games, averaging 2.17 goals per away game. However, BATE have only picked up one clean sheet in their last six matches. It is likely to be a high scoring match as the home side have only picked up one clean sheet in the last six games as well.
The home side will be without French striker, Alexandre Lacazette, as he picked up a red card in the previous leg against BATE last week. Arsenal have been rocked by injuries to their defensive personnel as Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding will be ruled out due to knee injuries. Arsenal will likely have their German playmaker, Mesut Ozil, missing in this match has he is suffering through an illness.
BATE’s side are fresh going into this match against Arsenal with no real injuries of note in the squad.
Despite their shortcomings last week against BATE Borisov, Arsenal have been made favourites to come away with a win in Thursday night’s Europa League game against the Belarusian champions. Arsenal have odds of 1/9 to get a win and BATE are priced at 20/1 to provide the Europa League with another upset. I agree that Arsenal should win the match and qualify for the next round.
Another market to consider is the both teams to score market. The odds for this match to end with both teams on the score sheet are 7/5. I don’t feel that Arsenal’s defence at home have shown themselves to be invulnerable to their opposition scoring goals, which leads me to believe that the game will end with both teams scoring but with Arsenal coming away with the win. For both teams to score and Arsenal to win the match gets odds of 2/1.
Arsenal have shown recently that they like to score a high volume of their goals in the first halves of matches. For their to be over 1.5 goals in the first half of the match between Arsenal and BATE Borisov, the bookies would give you a price of 11/10.
|Arsenal to win and BTTS (2/1)|
|Over 1.5 goals in the first half (11/10)|